Sunday, January 06, 2013

Richard Nixon Was More Honest Than Barack Obama

At least Nixon turned the tapes over.

The sudden announcement that Lisa Jackson, the controversial head of the Environmental Protection Agency, will be resigning later this month means that the mysterious Richard Windsor will be leaving the building with her.

His is apparently one of several fake names on official EPA e-mail accounts that Jackson used to conduct business while at EPA. Her office claims the name is a combination of her dog’s name and that of the town of East Windsor, N.J., where she once lived.

It’s not uncommon for government officials to have private e-mail accounts. But federal law has set up several barriers to prevent officials from using non-official or secret e-mail addresses to conduct business and then conceal the contents of those accounts from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. Politico reports that the EPA was supposed to ensure that anyone requesting Jackson’s e-mails under FOIA would also have access to communications from “Richard Windsor.” “But the system is far from foolproof,” it dryly notes.

When the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free-market group, came up empty on its FOIA requests for Jackson’s e-mails relating to her anti-coal efforts, it was told by an EPA whistleblower that she was using “Richard Windsor” and other aliases to coordinate with outside anti-coal groups and engage in other activity she wouldn’t want to come to light.
And, what is it about Democrat EPA administrators?
In 2000, Clinton EPA administrator Carol Browner responded to a Landmark Legal Foundation FOIA lawsuit by claiming that she didn’t use her government computer for e-mail. But Browner then ordered the hard drive on the computer to be reformatted and all backup tapes destroyed, just hours after a federal judge ordered her agency to preserve all agency e-mails. “EPA vowed it would avoid such problems going forward,” says Chris Horner, a CEI fellow and author of the new book The Liberal War on Transparency. “They clearly haven’t, and neither have other government agencies under Obama, who in 2009 promised us ‘the most honest and transparent administration in history.’”


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